This book is simply fantastic. It’s the second “celebrity bio” I’ve read this year (for my very low value of “celebrity” which basically means “person who makes me laugh on BBC panel shows”), and like Rob Brydon’s Small Man in a Book, David Mitchell’s Back Story perfectly captures the actor/comedian’s voice and personality as I’ve come to know and love it from TV, and adds a layer of apparently very authentic self-revelation to give some depth to the comic persona. Only, Back Story is much, much funnier (and that’s not to say the Rob’s book isn’t very funny, just that this one is hilarious).
It might not be funny to people who haven’t watched David Mitchell as a regular panelist on Would I Lie to You, or as a guest panelist on many other British quiz shows including my favourite, QI, or who haven’t seen him in any of his other comic incarnations (as part of the comedy duo Mitchell & Webb, and starring in Peep Show, and regularly ranting on David Mitchell’s Soapbox, which is almost my favourite thing on YouTube). You might need to already have his voice in your head and have a sense of what he refers to as his “tweedy persona,” in order to appreciate mentally hearing that voice throughout the book and finding out how much of that persona is constructed and how much is … well, just David Mitchell.
Mind you, you might like his voice so much that you could be like my husband, who, after I had already paid good money for the e-book, insisted on buying the audiobook as well because he wanted to listen to David Mitchell read it. Yes, we bought this book twice in one week. It’s that good. If you’re unfamiliar with David Mitchell’s work, click the link above and watch a few Soapboxes. If you’re as enchanted as I am, go ahead and buy the book. You won’t be sorry.
If you’re still unsure, check out the author’s own endorsement/apology (I hope you’ll note this is the only time I’ve EVER put a video link in a book review!!)